The 25th Anniversary of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences DICE Awards took place yesterday and the big winners included Hazelight It Takes Two and current Man of the Game of the Moment Phil Spencer who won the Lifetime Achievement Award. In case you’re wondering, DICE stands for Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertainment. There are quite a few awards: I’ll list the full list below but the most important are probably It Takes Two, which won Game of the Year and Outstanding Achievement in Game Design. Death loop won the award for Excellence in Game Direction, which sounds pretty similar to the latter, while Halo Infinite won the award for both action and online game of the year. Age of Empires 4 won Best Strategy/Simulation Game and Forza Horizon 5 won Racing Game of the Year. There was also a lot of love for Unpacking which won the Outstanding Achievement for an Indie Game award.
- Game of the Year – Needs Two (Hazelight)
- Outstanding Achievement in Game Design – Two Needed (Hazelight)
- Outstanding Achievement in Game Development – Deathloop (Arkane Studios)
- Action Game of the Year – Halo Infinite (343 Industries)
- Online Game of the Year – Halo Infinite (343 Industries)
- Outstanding Achievement for an Independent Game – Unboxing (Witch Beam)
- Outstanding Achievement in Animation – Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (Insomniac Games)
- Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction – Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (Insomniac Games)
- Outstanding Technical Achievement – Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (Insomniac Games)
- Family Game of the Year – Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (Insomniac Games)
- Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition – Comeback (Housemarque)
- Outstanding Achievement in Audio Design – Comeback (Housemarque)
- Outstanding Achievement in History – Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy (Square Enix)
- Adventure Game of the Year – Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (Square Enix)
- Fighting Game of the Year – Guilty Gear Strive (Arc System Works)
- Racing Game of the Year – Forza Horizon 5 (Playground Games)
- RPG of the Year – Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker (Square Enix)
- Sports Game of the Year – Mario Golf: Super Rush (Camelot/Nintendo)
- Strategy/Simulation of the Year – Age of Empires IV (World’s Edge/Microsoft)
- Immersive Reality Technical Achievement – Lone Echo II (Ready at Dawn)
- Immersive Reality Game of the Year – Lone Echo II (Ready at Dawn)
- Mobile Game of the Year – Pokémon Unite (TiMi Studio)
- Outstanding Achievement in Character – Resident Evil Village – Lady Dimitrescu
After all the gaming awards, the attention switched to people. Xbox head Phil Spencer received the DICE Lifetime Achievement Award and Mortal Kombat creator Ed Boon was inducted into the DICE Hall of Fame. Come here, Ed!
It Takes Two was a huge hit for Hazelight and EA, selling over 5 million copies and winning numerous awards, including important ones like The Game Awards Game of the Year. Our review highlights the game’s sheer creative versatility: “Throughout our time in It Takes Two, my partner and I fiddled with time in a cuckoo clock, escaped a den of ferocious moles, traveled on the back of a giant ghost catfish, and got into a fight with a squirrel on a flying plane – and this is not half (a quarter, fifth or sixth) of everything.
The DICE awards are another huge recognition for the studio and Fares personally, who has been pushing new approaches to co-op play for years with games like Brothers and A Way Out.